31st of Pharast
Today I began my work for the Swordlords of Brevoy- exploring the uncharted Stolen Lands and ridding them of their bandit presence. Strax and I traveled to a trading outpost owned by a gruff man named Oleg and his sweet, cheery wife Svetlana. Here we met the others who had been hired by the Swordlords. They are:
- Vic, a traveling half-elf musician, who plays a strange flute carved into the handle of his sword. He also appears to know his way around a spell or two.
- Krom, a gnomish druid who rides a roc instead of a horse. He is also a follower of Gozreh, which made me think our ethos would align. However, Krom has no tolerance for any kind of civilization, almost to a homicidal degree. I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the things he says worry me. I wonder how he got involved in this project.
- Lowin, a merchant’s son and run-away noble. He is a practitioner of arcane magic, and has bound an entity from another existence to his will. I’ve heard him muttering prayers to Abadar- I can only hope he leaves that nonsense behind him, where it belongs.
- Thalian, an elven swordsman with a large scar over his eye. He seems much more easy-going and talkative than any elf I have ever met, but avoids talking about himself at all.
- Dodric Oakenfist, a dwarven monk who, strangely, is without a beard. His body is heavily tattooed, including a holy symbol of Iomedae on his back. He has been very vocal about his morals so far, and seems like the most trustworthy of the five.
We had not been there long when Oleg and his wife told us that bandits had been stealing and extorting them of their trade goods at the beginning of each month. They asked for our help, and Dodric and I quickly agreed to protect them. We have made our preparations for the night, and now just wait for the bandit’s arrival in the morning. I felt very confident in that moment agreeing to help, but now I’m not so sure. I can already feel the bile in the back of my throat from the bloodshed to come. I know I have to, but if it comes down to it, I’m not sure I can kill these men, bandits or not.
1st of Gozran
Old Deadeye! What a gruesome sight! The bandits walked right into the encampment, where we were waiting. We locked them in, like caged animals, and then slaughtered them. I only fired two arrows before I saw a man trampled like mud under Strax’s hooves. I will never forget that sight. My vision began to swim, and I had to take cover while my stomach emptied itself. I don’t remember much of the rest of the day. At some point, Thalian came to find me and lead me back to the group. I tried to pretend I was fine, but I don’t think he bought it. The group told me one of the bandits had told them about a nearby bandit camp, led by a woman named Kressle. The group told me the bandits belonged to a larger group led by a man they called the Stag Lord. Our group planned to find this next camp. I only wish I had their enthusiasm.
Later in the day, we began our task by exploring the land around Oleg’s. Not too far away, we found a hut where an old man named Bokken lives. The twitchy old man introduced himself as a seller of potions, and when we revealed our purpose to him, asked us to keep an eye out for any “fangberries” we might see. He also told us of his brother, who he had come into a row with. Bokken asked us to keep an eye out for him too. Bokken is definitely a strange man, but we have to work with what we have out here.
2nd of Gozran
Oh Gods, another gory day! We descended upon the river bandit camp. Strax, as before, charged into the action with an unseen bloodlust, and knocked the sentry out of his tree post. I saw him trampled under Strax’s hooves, that majestic fur covered in human gore. My stomach began to rise just as we were surrounded by ten more bandits. I remember very little from that battle, and I take that as a blessing from Erastil. I remember Strax falling to a well-shot arrow, and rushing to revive him with Erastil’s bountiful energy. I remember Krom’s eagle falling, and never getting back up. At one point, Krom and Dodric were fighting over the leader, Kressle, Krom wanting to kill her in revenge, and Dodric wanting her information. In the end, Thalian put an end to her life. Krom ran into the night, howling like a wild beast, tearing at his hair. I remember Thalian helping me onto Strax and taking off after him.
I understand the pain he must have felt. I could not bear to lose Strax.